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From the mid-19th to the early 20th century, the western hemisphere witnessed unprecedented population migration. Europeans crossed the Atlantic to settle in North America, part of the American east coast population moved farther west, and, closer to home, Canadians crossed the border to live in the United States.
From 1840 to 1930 an estimated 900,000 people left Quebec for the United States. Most of these headed to factories in the industrial cities of the northeast, especially in New England. Certain cities such as Lowell, Massachusetts and Manchester, New Hampshire, received thousands of these emigrants. There, they established entire neighbourhoods and parishes of French-Canadian Catholics. There were many reasons for such a population migration: the division of agricultural land among many members of the same family led to a shortage of resources in Quebec. The province also experienced economic problems and the enticement of well-paying American jobs was often irresistible. Although the political elite and the Church tried various means to put a halt to this exodus, they never succeeded in stopping it entirely.
Roby, Yves. -- Un Québec émigré aux États-Unis : bilan historiographique. -- Textes de l'exode. -- Textes réunis et présentés sous la direction de Maurice Poteet. -- Montréal : Guérin, 1987. -- (Collection francophonie). -- P. 113-140.
Faucher, Albert. -- Histoire économique et unité canadienne. -- Montréal : Fides, 1970. -- P. 258.